31 Days of Looking for the Little: Bright Spots


IMG_4265 geraniums on balcony

I try to take my mom out to lunch about once each week. She lives ten minutes from us, in a lovely dementia care assisted living unit that is part of a much larger, 3-stage retirement community.

I pick her up, find her pink sun visor, and we begin our S L O W walk outside, up the elevator and down the long, covered, outdoor corridor to the new Life Center building.

Inside is a wonderful cafe, with a brick oven for fresh pizza, and a nice selection of sandwiches and salads. Her favorites are the cheeseburger and cheese pizza. Sometimes a hot dog.

These lunchtimes are a very mixed experience. It’s lovely to just sit with her in the outdoor, covered patio. We enjoy the food and each other’s company. But when she tries to make conversation, it can get dicey. She finds it harder and harder to tell me what she’s thinking. And she knows it. Sometimes when she’s struggling — and there is no way I can help her as I don’t know where she’s headed — I find my eyes wandering.

And these bright pink geraniums on a nearby second-story balcony are often what I choose to focus on. Why? Because they’re bright and beautiful, a reminder that life is good and rich as well as difficult and painful. 

Somehow, they always make me feel better. Then I can give Mom my full attention, tell her how sorry I am that it’s such a struggle for her, and together, we find our way to another quiet space. 

Where do you need a spot of brightness in your life these days?

Just Wondering

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  1. I can totally relate to your situation with your mother. My dad struggled with Alzheimer’s and it was the hardest thing to watch him lose his ability to communicate. I pray God’s strength, courage and love for you as you continue on this journey with your mom.
    Love and blessings, Diana!

  2. Gwen Acres says

    Sounds like a delightful new, casual dining area. At least it is new since I was there. Glad you have such a special place to be together with your dear mother.

  3. Savor every moment of conversation you yet have with her. It is such a hard journey for sure. May God give you everything you need in the days ahead. Blessings!

  4. It is so hard to have aging parents.

    • It is hard, Lisa. And yet a big part of me is so grateful she is still here to love. I’m slowly coming to the place of letting her go, I think. It is hard to watch this process, that’s for sure.

  5. Diana, it sounds like you use those spots of brightness to help you sustain God’s kindness and grace, and give them right over to her. What a wonderful blessing. My own spot of brightness is my little deck. I’ve put plants on it that attract birds. When I’m feeling low, a noisy blue jay will appear at my bird feeder and talk with me, or a hummingbird will hover over my flowers and remind me that my troubles are vapor compared to the glory of God.

    • Exactly, Susan – I do use them for reminding myself of God’s goodness. And we have lots of noisy jays and other birds that I just love watching and ‘conversing’ with – birds are great bright spots and wonderful teachers, too.